Garden Journal 2004

Happenings January
Right! Big stuff to do this year! Maybe I have to do some lists and set a few priorities to achieve any of the plans I have here ;)

Here goes ... the 'To Do' List:

Weed! Potager - picking beans, peas and potatoes. Planted new strawberry bed.

Happenings February
Harvest onions, peas, beans and aubergines...onions are the best I have tasted!

Aargh!! Tomatoes got BLIGHT! I have lost them all :( There has been so much rain, rain, rain and humidity.

Happenings March - Bought glasshouse through 'Trade Me'......YIPPEE!

March 14 - Make new vege bed #6 using macrocarpa planks.

March 15 - Build glasshouse! :) Thanks Paulie :)

March 22 - Beech hedge needs help! Dug trench along both sides of one row (think it may be getting waterlogged) to see if that helps. Weed!

March 23 - A zillion ducks in paddock...58! LOL they chase the neighbours cats, hehe, good ducks! Planted 'strip' carrots to see what sort of germination they provide.

Happenings April
Bought 'Honeycomb' stones to lay in the glasshouse...pretty ;) Beech trees are looking better, must water and feed them next summer.

April 5 - The bloke moved one of the huge dirt piles with the tractor :) Created new 'Maple Garden' bed. Needs to be rotary hoed and have some compost and gypsum dug into it to allow it to drain well. First actual garden bed, can't wait to plant it :) Soil is good although it has a large clay content. Did a cheapy ph test and found that the range is about 6.5-7.0 which is pretty good, I think.

Ducks came around for a visit... 52 of them! oops, ran out of bread. Must remember to take camera!

Very chilly wind, winter is fast arriving. The maples and liquidamber are already turning gorgeous golds and scarlets.

April 7 - Bought 20 lonicera and lots of fruit trees today :) Big sale 40% off! Must get more bulbs tomorrow.

April 8 - Forgot the bulbs but bought home more lonicera, magnolias, bay trees, bluberries, orangeberry and quava! :) Hope to plant the fruit bushes tomorrow - Easter - but weather looks pretty crappy :(

April 10 - No planting yesterday just rain, rain and wind. Bought some more plants today tho just to cheer me up :) for the Maple garden. 2 Thujia, 2 Butia palms and a Hebe, oh, and a cyclamen for the house, Great sale!

April 11 - Coffee break! Have just spent 3 hours digging in the new maple garden. Dug in lots ot compost between the (tractor size) lumps of clay! Have planted the 2 thujias. This is going to be a tough job! I really have to get the rotary hoe on this bed before the rain tuns it all to mud. It is dry on top and like concrete! Needs compost. Irrigating beech hedge atm, the ground is very dry and they are still suffering.

Nosey ducks have come around for some food - oh well - there goes my lunch! Looks like gingernuts for me! :) yummy! Very nice sitting here in my little potting shed, no wind inside. There is a mean southerly outside though it is hot digging.

Planted the 2 Butias and a hebe Wiri Spears. The last shrub planted was 'Calliocarps Dichotoma. This has brilliant wine coloured berries on it, can't wait to see it when it is big! Fed the hoovers and tidied up for the day. Paulie would be proud :D

April 13 - Picked up rotary hoe,YAY. Got it stuck after 10 minutes, BOO! Had to call in the big gun to get it unstuck and he finished the job for me,heh heh, the lad is learning .

Maple bed soil is ready to overwinter and settle. Have to get some straw and compost on to it and let the worms and nature do their stuff!

Started planting the pond garden. It has a few aggies and viburnums planted already, along with the 2 willows and 3 birches. The clay is rock solid with no organic matter in it whatsoever, must remedy that.

Planted 'Alocasia Macrophiza' (elephants ear) at the bottom right of the pond. This is a gorgeous large green leafed plant. Planted 'Alocasia Portadora' top right and divided a Xanthasomia Aurea (golden taro) between the silver birches bottom left of the pond. Watered the maple garden, fed the ducks and paddled off home :)

April 18 - Big plans for lots of work today! hmm, mum and chrissy came to paddock, no work done! Went to garden centre with them and had coffee and cake tho... so not at all bad :)

April 19 - Right! No mercy to the weeds! Sprayed (ugh) around the hedges and trees. Dug around the cherries and watered, they are very dry on that slope. Weeded around them and composted. Their leaves are falling, very pretty red colour :) Got more compost to do the other cherry, wisterias and crabapple tomorrow. Sprayed areas around the pond and carpet roses.

Grrrr... the pukekos have demolished the golden taro and had a good attempt at the alocasias! Might have to put netting around all new pond plantings.

Had a huge day - lots of digging and composting, hopefully will keep the weeds down over the winter. Have bought some Helleborous 'Alba - a dark pink - and 'Lenten Rose' . Hmm, where to put them... No-where today, back getting sore...darn!

April 20 - Finished weeding and composting cherries, crabapple and wisterias :) All tucked up for the winter. Planted daffidols 'Earlicheer' in front ot thujias in Maple garden and composted. Gave all cherries a light prune. Derris dust on cabbages and caulies. Hmm, where to put the helleborous...

Sprayed around glasshouse, need more weedmat and some compost bins for that area.

April 24 - Planted blue dutch iris in the Maple garden. Tilled the bed - breaking up all the clumps of dirt, wonder when I am going to have the 'fine tilth' haha! Rained all afternoon....mmmm mud!

Happenings May
Finally! A dry day! Planted out some more iris in Maple garden and 15 Lonicera to start the background hedge. Pukekos have been delving in the potager...grrr

May 10 - Finished planting the lonicera hedge! Cleared off the Plane Tree garden and covered with compost. The Daffidols are poking their leaves through the ground already :) Mowed edges. Cleaned out potting shed!

May 16 - Planted Acanthus 2,Nepetea 2 and Lambs ears in Maple garden. Planted some foxglove seedlings beside thujia.

May18 - Took cuttings from lonicera hedge and ran them along front of Plane Tree garden, hope they take. Made beds in Fruit garden for red and yellow Guavas and two Blueberry - dug in huge amount of compost. Ground is very wet, hopefully raising the beds will allow for drainage over the winter. Planted Blackcurrant next to Raspbery and added lots of compost.

A huge day! A sore back!

May 23 - Cleared all spent vege crops and prep'ed for next ones :)

Happenings June
First day in garden for a few weeks, it has been terribly wet and windy. Managed to get grass mown around trees and garden beds without getting stuck! We are planning to leave the main body of grass this year to cut for hay later. Just have to keep mowing the paths around everything so the contractors don't chop the lot!

Weeded out the old corn and beans. Had some yummy caulies and cabbages, the catapillars had the broccoli! Carrots are germinating nicely, however there are a few gaps so I will not use seed tape next time.

June 13 - Added a layer of compost to new vege bed. Planted garlic and onions (brown and red). This is the first time for garlic so it will be exciting to see what pops up.

Planted some evergreen acorns in pots, hope they grow! Got some weeding done before being sent off home with my horrible cold, the fact that my favourite gardening programe was due to start had nothing to do with that decision.

June 19 - Peas and broccoli seeds have germinated! Waiting for the weather to clear, horrible weather outside, sook gardener inside. Hmm...must be winter :(

June 21 - Paddock is terribly boggy!

Cleared old cauli plants and planted some new seedlings. Put new latch and paddlock on potting shed.

Happenings August
Sowed seeds in punnets. First ones in my new glasshouse! Have lost 2 panes of glass due to some pretty wild weather. Hopefully I won't lose any more in the coming wicked October winds. Must remember to plant some more seeds in a few weeks time.

August 30 - Mowed edges and gardens for the first time this winter without getting bogged! :) Spring in a few days time!

Happenings September
SPRING! YAY! I must be getting a more serious gardener...I have managed to potter around in the garden all year!!

Mowed grass again, just cos I can :) Cleared and dug over 4 beds in the vege garden, the start of the Great Spring Clean Up!

Sowed carrots, parsnips and spring onions. Planted yellow canna top right of pond.

September 12 - Mowed edges and paths. Sprayed stuff. Planted stuff. :)

September 20 - Bought lots of plants from a local sale :) Kiwifruit, Lime, Astelias, Bronze lonicera, cypress, cute little bronzy conifer, bronze phormium, photinias, mondo and lavender :)

Put a small shelf on the top of the french doors for the swallows to nest in. They had built one last year but this year their attempts were rather dismal, poor things, the wind is against them and they have lost two!

September 30 - Taken cuttings of lavender (french). This one grows very large and the cuttings are destined for the Olive garden.

Happenings October
Finally... a rainless day! Darn October winds are wreaking havoc!

Planted tomatoes, celery, beans, peas and silverbeet. Carrots, parsnips and spring onions from last sowing are germinating well :)

Painted potting shed :) needs to be a lighter colour tho so will get the next coat tinted differently...looks like a blob of butter!

Mowed pathways, Lime walk and Fruit garden. Strawberries have lots of baby fruit. Bought passionfruit vine for the shed wall. It is northerly facing so lets hope this one survives. Birds are nesting and getting used to me shuffling around below them :)

Cherry walk looks fabulous with all its huge white bunches of blooms Yippee!

October 27 - He laughed when I said we may need the truck to pick up a couple of pot plants I had 'acquired'...

October 28 - Sprayed weeds on Maple garden. Pukekos are nesting in long grass around there somewhere. Mowed grass around vege garden. Planted dahlias in spare bed, not their proper place but they had to go somewhere :)

Happenings November
Painted garden shed with final coat, much better colour. Re-worked boysenberry bed and made bamboo trellis to tie canes to. Swallows are still sitting on their nest and gettting quite friendly :)

November 3 - Mowed grass and did some weeding in vege garden. Watered. Seedlings germinating in glasshouse. Sprayed the grass area for the new Olive garden and around the pheonix palm.

November 8 - Weeding! Lots of it, started to clear the Maple garden of weeds sprayed in October. Weeded and composted raspberry and blackcurrant beds. Cleaned potting shed :)

November 14 - Haven't been near the paddock :( Have been flat on my back since Nov 9. Very painful. grrrr...and such perfect gardening weather! Am able to sit in chair today, oh yay, so have spent the time putting this diary into the computer, at least I could read about the garden I suppose! Looking so forward to getting back into it, so much to do!

November 19 - Sat on mower and mowed today, my back is feeling alot better.

November 20 - Dug trenches and planted potatoes, added compost. Paulie rammed edging plank pegs into ground in the berry beds. My back, sore you know.... ;) Weeded vege beds. Picked bowl of strawberries, yum.

November 24 - Bought truckful of compost. Added compost to new berry bed and replanted blackberries and rhubarb.

November 27 - Dug for four hours in Maple Garden and added compost to existing plants. Added new nepetas and mollis.

November 29 - Still working on Maple Garden, more compost more perennials :)

November 30 - Planted cherry tree and more stuff in Maple Garden.

Happenings December
Mowed, weeded *yawn*. Planted water, rock melon and cucumber seedlings (heirloom seeds)

December 8 - Planted more perennials in MG, think I should have taken more cuttings before now, this is going to take a zillion plants to fill. Gave lonicera hedge its' first light prune. Paulie bought water to this area via a new shiney brass tap. Nice, no more 20 litre bottles! Yay! Mowed all paths and around all beds.

December 13 - Truckload of bagged horse-poo, oh yummy ;) Continued digging and spreading poo into the MG bed. Planted large agapanthus (blue) around maples. Weeded.

December 14 - Spent another 3 hours digging clay in MG bed and spreading horse-poo. Removed dead weeds from around maple trees and added compost ready for planting....hostas maybe? Weed veges. Watered garden...must be going to rain tomorrow!

December 15 - Oh look! It's raining! :D

December 20 - Braved the wind and did some more digging in the MG, composted and planted 6 Hosta 'Thomas Hogg' and 4 blue delphiniums. Weeded around trees and veges and made a feeble attempt at the pond thistles...hmm. Tomatoes and nicotiana need pricking out. Tomorrows job.

December 22 - Pricked out nicotiana seedlings, tomatoes and basil into larger pots, .got 50 new plants! Love the glasshouse! Did some weeding before the rain came back.

December 26 - Christmas day over and got some goodies for the garden :) Spent the day clearing and weeding (six little trailer loads...goodness!) in the vege garden. Garlic and onions ready to come out? Read up on garlic tonight.

December 28 - Planted more lonicera hedging plants (cuttings) along back of MG. Weeded. Watered.